Former Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce posted an apology Monday on Facebook
for a controversial statement he posted over the weekend alleging the victims of the Colorado movie theater shooting could have done more to stop the gunman James Holmes.
The controversial post has since been taken down, but it read:
"Had someone been prepared and armed they could have stopped this "bad" man from most of this tragedy. He was two and three feet away from folks, I understand he had to stop and reload. Where were the men of flight 93??? Someone should have stopped this man. Someone could have stopped this man. Lives were lost because of a bad man, not because he had a weapon, but because no one was prepared to stop it. Had they been prepared to save their lives or lives of others, lives would have been saved. All that was needed is one Courages/Brave man prepared mentally or otherwise to stop this it could have been done. When seconds count, police are only minutes away. My prayers are with all of those suffering from this senseless act, may God be with them in this moment of pain and heartache."
He followed up Saturday with the following explanation:
It sure didn't take long for the AZ Republic to try and mischaracterize my earlier post as some sort of attack on the victims of the horrific attack in Colorado. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims and their families as they should. All I did was lament that so many people should be left disarmed and vulnerable by anti-gun rules that try to create a sense of safety by posting a sign that says "No Guns", when the only real effect is to disarm everyone who could have saved lives. The madman had guns, but even those with the training to handle a firearm could not stop him because they had been disarmed. Had they been prepared (and maybe that's the word that is throwing off the writers at the Republic) and been able to fire on their attacker, lives could have been saved. In Arizona we have passed laws to free our people so that they can defend themselves and their loved ones. You cannot predict where evil will raise its head, but you can be prepared for it.
Monday's apology reads in full:
There comes a time when explaining stops making sense and you are better off simply apologizing. So for those who were offended by my post regarding the shootings in Aurora, please accept my apologies. When I wrote it my heart was heavy and we were concerned about the fate of one particular young lady who we knew was at that theater that night. The points I tried to make were not presented well ... and have since been lost in the furor that resulted.
The most important thing, now as then, is that our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims, their families and all of those effected. There were great acts of courage in that theatre and our hearts have been moved to hear about them, like the stories of three young men who had taken their dates to the movies and ended up sacrificing their lives by shielding their girlfriends’ bodies with their own; what love, sacrifice and courage. My wish was simply for a miracle that might have saved lives in this horrific senseless attack.
I will never understand policies that disarm honest citizens and leave them vulnerable to the premeditated attacks of madmen, but it is still far too early for any sort of discussion over how to prevent the next such attack. When that time comes, we need to involve not just those involved in the debate over guns and public safety, but over mental health as well. We need to find out if there are better ways to be able to spot and help someone whose mental state is deteriorating as badly as this young man’s did.
For now, I remain very sorry for my remarks and any possible pain they may have caused.
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